Ever seen any of these marks anywhere? What came to mind?

Copyright relates to literary and artistic creations, such as books, music, paintings and sculptures, films/movies and technology-based works (such as computer programs and electronic databases). Sometimes, copyright is also referred to as authors’ rights

The expression copyright which is usually expressed by the symbol ©refers to the act of copying an original work which, in respect of literary and artistic creations, may be done only by the author or with the author’s permission.

The expression authors’ rights refer to the creator of an artistic work, its author, thus underlining that, as recognized in most laws, authors have certain specific rights in their creations that only they can exercise, which are often referred to as moral rights, such as the right to prevent distorted reproductions of the work. Other rights, such as the right to make copies, can be exercised by third parties with the author’s permission, for example, by a publisher who obtains a license to this effect from the author.

What does that mean in our everyday life?

It means that we cannot use works of creators without their authorization, whether we actually know these creators or not. It’s our duty to find out who they are and seek their authorization. It also means that no one should be allowed to use any thing we create without our authorization and we can sue them if they do so.

1don’t be caught !

For further reading on copyright you may visit;

What can be protected by copyright?

All original ideas reduced into material form


  • Books
  • Poems etc.
  • Music
  • Songs
  • Paintings
  • Sculptures
  • Graphics etc.
  • Films
  • Movies
  • Documentaries

Computer Programs ,software and Apps

What else?? Copyright also protects works that are derived from copyright called “Derivative Works “Examples

A motion picture based on a play or novel

  • A translation of a novel written in English into another language
  • A revision of a previously published book
  • A sculpture based on a drawing
  • An adaptation of a dramatic work
  • A revision of a website
  • A drawing based on a photograph
  • A lithograph based on a painting
  • A drama about Paul Kafeero based on the letters and journal entries of Paul Kafeero
  • A musical arrangement of a preexisting musical work
  • A new version of an existing computer program

 NOTE THAT: In order to create derivative works you must seek the authorization of the original author for example you can’t make a novel into a film without the authorization of the author.

Don’t be caught on the wrong side of the law. Copyright infringement is a crime and it can bring the IP Police to your house

Where Do you Register your Copyright in Uganda?

Uganda Registration Services Bureau

Georgian House, Plot 5 George street or any of our branches at Posta Uganda, Kampala Road, Nakivubo mews at Sekaziga House, UIA at Twed Plaza Lumumba Avenue or at our regional offices in Gulu, Mbale, Arua and Mbarara

Email your inquiry to or visit for more information

Call the toll free; 0800 100 006

The process of registration is simple and any one can do it without assistance from a 3rd party. Please seek assistance from URSB staff wearing Identification and all their assistance is FREE

How much do you pay for copyright right registration

1 Application for registration of copyright or neighbouring rights 50,000/=
2 Application for registration of assignment, transfer or license 50,000/=
3 Application for registration of a license 200,000/=

Application Procedure and Requirements

1. Fill the copyright Application form(Link) and deliver it to the URSB Intellectual Property Directorate.

2. URSB will then assess you for payment in a bank of your choice.

3. After payment, attach the receipt to your application and file it with URSB.

4. Your application will be examined and if your work qualifies for copyright protection You will be given a publication notice to deliver to Uganda Printing and Publishing Company for publication.  (Publication is for 60 days and it aims at notifying the general public of your application).

5. If 60 days elapse with no one opposing your registration, you deliver a copy of the gazette where your work appears and you will be given a copyright registration certificate signed and sealed by the registrar of copyright.

Application Forms


What do you gain if you register your copyright?

  • The owner will be known and protected by the government from infringement for his/her life time and 50 years after his death.
  • Minimizes disputes with ownership by confirming ownership of works this will be especially helpful to the successors of the author once he has died. They can inherit and share his rights.
  • The ability to offer your works for use to a third party even overseas since most buyers and users demand for proof of ownership in form of a registration certificate. Some countries will reject exports of works without this proof.
  • Puts culture on record since culture develops majorly through music and arts.

What won’t be protected by Copyright?

  • Facts and data, ideas, systems.
  • Laws and other public or government publications for example judgements and court decisions
  • Original ideas which are not expressed in material form.
  • Business, organization or group names
  • Information that is commonly known and has no original ownership
  • Blank Forms e.g. timelines, Diaries, Graph Paper, Address books, Order Forms
  • List of ingredients, Such as recipes, formulas or labels
  • Individual pseudonyms such as pen or stage names

NOTE THAT: Although these may not be protected by copyright generally speaking but copyright may apply if the way these things are expressed is original so please seek advice from URSB.

Example; H.E. Yoweri Kaguta Museveni owns copyright in “Another rap based on a common Runyankore-Rukiga rhyme because his expression of the rhyme into a rap is original.

Digital era is here. What can Ugandan creators do to protect their work especially on line?

  1. Register your copyrights
  2. Put your copyright notice on or adjacent to each of your works. The official copyright notice is ©
  3. Put your copyright management information in, on and/or adjacent to each of your works.  

(1) The title and other information identifying the work, including the information set forth on a notice of copyright.
(2) The name of, and other identifying information about, the author of a work or
(3) The name of, and other identifying information about, the copyright owner of the work, including the information set forth in a notice of copyright.

  1. Make it more difficult for others to use your photos without your permission. Even though a burglar can break into your home, you still lock your door.  Do the same to protect your images.  First, disable “right-click” so that novices cannot easily copy and save your work Second, read the terms and conditions of any website where you may post your images or contest that you enter to make sure that you’re not giving up rights to which you’re not aware.
  2. Prosecute unauthorized uses of your work to get compensation for the use of the work. Many people think that they have a right to use your work or they won’t be caught if they do.  Fortunately, there are many tools to battle copyright infringement. Report infringement to the URSB, Intellectual Property Enforcement Unit.

Applicable Laws (attached)